National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary - Education

Multicultural Programs


photo montage


MERITO is the multicultural education program for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) and it stands for Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans. MERITO (which means ‘merit’ in Spanish), began implementation at CINMS in 2006 by delivering bilingual ocean conservation related products and services to students, teachers, adults, and families living near the Santa Barbara Channel region.

The goal of the MERITO program at CINMS is to provide programs and products to our multicultural population to build sanctuary stewardship, help increase understanding of ocean-related threats, and motivate culturally diverse students to pursue careers in marine sciences and/or resource protection so that our entire community can actively contribute to ocean preservation.

Multicultural Education is the 9th strategy of the Awareness and Understanding component of the CINMS Management Plan. CINMS initiated the expansion of the MERITO program from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) to the Santa Barbara Channel region in 2005. The CINMS MERITO action plan is composed of various strategies including A) Bilingual Outreach, B) Internships for graduate and under graduate students underrepresented in science, and the B) MERITO Academy which includes professional development for educators, students programming and curriculum. The first two strategies (A and B) are implemented by CINMS. The MERITO Academy is a partnership program co-sponsored by CINMS and many other governmental (National, State and Municipal) and non-governmental organizations coordinated by a local non-for profit organization (
MERITO products and programs inform multicultural audiences on how to take individual action in resource and habitat protection, and why ocean protection is a responsibility everyone shares.

Contact us:
Rocio Lozano-Knowlton, MERITO Bilingual Program Coordinator
Channel Islands Boating Center in Channel Islands Harbor
3880 Bluefin Circle
Oxnard, CA 93035
(805) 729-0442



Contact Us | WebSite Owner: National Ocean Service
Many links leave the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Web Site. Please view our Disclaimer for more information.
National Ocean Service | Office of National Marine Sanctuaries | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | NOAA Library | Privacy Policy | User Survey